Biography of Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. 1340-1400)

Geoffrey Chaucer.

English poet, born about 1340 in London and died in that same city in 1400. His family was originally from Ipswich. In 1357 was page at the Court of Eduardo III. It formed part of the retinue of the King in the first military expedition to France, where he/she was taken prisoner, after paying the King their rescue, returned to London, and continued in the Court, devoting himself to the study of law. He/She married in 1366, Philippa Roet, one of the ladies of honour to the Queen. The Duke of Lancaster, son of Eduardo, returned to attack the French and Chaucer returned to be part of this new expedition. Thanks to their knowledge of laws, commissioned you various diplomatic missions, one of which went to Italy to look for loans between bankers and merchants, for the English Crown. In 1378, in Milan, he/she said of the Alliance of the Visconti against the French. His poetry initially was influenced by the Roman de la Rose and his French followers, but after visiting Genoa, Florence, Milan and in contact with the Italian culture, his work was completely changed. 1374-1386, was inspector of rights and subsidies on wool and skins at the port of London. He/She moved to Kent County when he/she was elected member of Parliament for that city. He/She made a pilgrimage in the year 1388 at Canterbury. 1389-91 was Superintendent of Royal buildings and finally forest Deputy Mayor from the far North Petherston Park. In 1399, he/she returned to London.

Minor works.

As mentioned above, his first poetry the book of the Duchess (The boke of the duchesse), written in 1369 and a first edition of 1532; It is written in disticos octasilabos according to the French canons of the time; The House of Fame (The house of Fame), from 1378 approximately and a first edition of 1486; It is a work written in eight semi-detached houses, divided into three books, very similar to the earlier allegorical vision, although we can consider it as a preview of what later will be his greatest works; The Parliament of fowls (The parlement of foules), 1382 approximately and a first edition of 1478; poem for stays of seven decasilabos, called real verses, completely composed in the traditional manner, although the language is ductile and varied, backed up by a marginal verse, there is a certain instinct for comedy. The influence of Dante and Boccaccio is remarkable in the previous work, but the imprint of this last author is which is perceived in Troilo and Chryseis (Troylus and Criseyde), written between 1383 and 1385 approximately, with a first edition of 1482; It is a poem in actual stanzas which is considered as the first novel in the English language, where psychological depth is especially remarkable in the character of Chryseis, Troilo is still a prototype of the courtly Knight; The legend of virtuous women (The legende of good women), of 1386 approximately and a first edition of 1532; It is an unfinished poem which follows the tradition of loving the French way. In the prologue of this work are all written by Chaucer until that time, many of which have not come up to our days, as it is the case of the lyrical poems, ballads, rondeles and virelays.

Tales of Canterbury (The Canterbury tales).

The Canterbury Tales, written between 1386 and 1400 and edited for the first time in 1478, are a collection of tales in verse, decasilabos paired, known for heroic couplets. Collection composed of 21 complete stories and unfinished three. He/She had as a precedent the Decameron, but since the prologue the originality of the work is made clear by the characterization of the characters and the picture of the social life of the time. Each story represents one of the medieval literary forms: of the fabliau novel courteous; the breton Lai to the legends of Saints; the parable the apolog and the fable of animals; the homily to the story in prose. In tales coexist most diverse forms of life. Master of medieval literature, Chaucer knew, almost from scratch, create a new technical versificatoria and, with his work, gave the record of definitive nobility in English literature.

For more information, see Canterbury Tales.